From embedding embroidery thread in Venetian plaster to incorporating old-world gilding into their work to mixing plaster and graphite for a raw industrial look, Tracey Blaser and David Gardiner—the trowel-wielding duo behind Field Decorative Finishes in Brooklyn—have tapped into their artisanal roots (the two are graduates of Maryland’s storied Institute College of Art) to create a dizzying cutting-edge wall treatment studio. “We love to experiment,” says Blaser, “and to create walls that are unique and special.”
To wit: She and Gardiner’s installations also include both rough, polished and striated aggregate plasters and fabric-based plaster finishes, and they’ve even conjured a bespoke chestnut finish that resembles a Jaguar’s glistening dash. Not surprisingly, that imaginative, outside-the-box approach has put Field on the speed-dial of über-designers like Amy Lau and innovative architecture firms like Tsao & McKown. “We’re not your ordinary decorative finishes company,” declares Gardiner. “We do things no one has seen before.”
LX: Art icons:
TB: Mark Rothko’s painting is what inspired us to name our company Field, after the color field painters. I also admire the work of Anne Truitt and Barnett Newman.
DG: Anselm Keifer’s experimental use of materials in his paintings inspires me to create new finishing techniques, to do all my own mixing of materials and to play alchemist just a little bit.
LX: Dream collaboration:
TB: Something big and theoretical, perhaps with Rem Koolhaas.
LX: Architecture period you find most engaging:
DG: I am particularly connected to the 19th-century architecture of Brooklyn, where I’ve lived for 16 years. My Italian great-grandfather was a stonemason, and he laid the corners of the Hotel St. George in Brooklyn Heights.
LX: Dream dinner party guests:
TB: Stanley Kubrick, Tina Fey, Charles and Ray Eames, and Johnny Cash.
DG: Maurice Sendak, Peter Marino, J.R.R. Tolkien, Dorothy Parker, Gertrude Stein and Olivia Newton-John.
LX: I’m reading…
TB: Just Kids, by Patti Smith, and Sway, by Zachary Lazar.
DG: The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins.